Heartland Rugby Championship to kick off

Heartland Rugby Championship to kick off

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The Heartland Rugby Championship
starts this weekend. Ngati Porou East Coast
had their final pre-season hit out. But as Irena Smith reports, the smallest union
in the country is confident as they believe
what they lack in size, they make up in heart and passion. Ploughing the ground ahead
of the Heartland competition. We need to unite more as a team. We were lucky to get through
a few gaps today. We’ve spoken about more
cohesive playing between the forwards and the backs. This is the final pre-season game
for East Coast against Eastern BOP. It’s an annual match
for the Basil Simpson Cup. The coast won 46-17
but long-term supporters say there are still many challenges
ahead for the team. Itís hard because as a union
we donít have the money to pay or good players from outside
of the region but the positive of that I guess is that we are building
and growing our home players. Another problem is that we
don’t have the jobs to sustain the players coming
here to play. But everyone agrees that despite
the challenges, grassroots rugby is well
and alive and is where legends
of the game are grown. Like ex-local All Black
George Nepia who this park in Rangitukia
is named after. It’s in the blood. East Coast will play King Country
in Te Kuiti on Saturday in round one
of the Heartland competition, hoping to take this win
to the next level. Irena Smith, Te Karere.

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